Muhammad Ali may be famous for popularizing the phrase “impossible is nothing,” but gamers, much like athletes takes that mantra to heart. For the average gamer though, there are many impossible moments during their career as gamers. Dark Souls may be infamously known for its New Game+ mode that increases with every new start of the game, but it’s Ninja Gaiden 2 that takes the cake. Its Master Ninja mode is so difficult and challenging that it took a member of the Ninja Gaiden fanbase six years to finally defeat the Path of the Master Ninja with 100% completion and no damage.
The advent of technology, specifically the introduction of the Internet to our everyday lives has slightly diminished those who have sat as kings and queens of the figurative hill. Game guides, YouTube walkthroughs, and forums all now assist players with the acquisition of once impossible to get items, locations, and hidden easter eggs.
But for those who forgo aids and guides to assist them throughout their gaming journey, there’s plenty of impossible secrets to discover. It just requires a lot of patience and the ability to search every nook and cranny. It may be a needle in the haystack, but one that comes with its own reward.
Here are the top 15 items in Skyrim impossible to get without some form of assistance. Not to worry, we’ve given you all the info you need to acquire each item.
15 From Windhelm, With Love
Known as the City of Kings, Windhelm is the capital of Eastmarch Hold and the oldest city in Skyrim. Located in northeastern Skyrim, Windhelm is a wintry town with high racial divide and a thriving dock, home of the East Empire Company. It is here that the player will come across one of the more, if not impossible fishing job tasks.
A radiant quest given to members of the Thieves Guild, The Fishing Job requires players to steal a unique, valuable item from random characters using the Pickpocket skill. It’s in Windhelm that you’ll be tasked with stealing the Dalan Merchad’s Gold Diamond Necklace. As Dalan Merchad never sleeps, the only way to steal this necklace is by amplifying your Pickpocket skill with enchantments, potions, and gear.
14 To Whom It May Concern
Fans of The Elder Scrolls franchise love all the minute details integrated throughout every game. For perfectionists, The Elder Scrolls presents a gold mine in which they can capture and collect every scroll, quest item, gem, and even notes. But unless they refer to an online guide or scour through the forums, perfection is hard to achieve. Case in point, the Note to Thomas.
A dead Breton bandit wizard, Thomas was an unlucky adventurer who didn’t take an arrow to the knee, but rather, a nasty slip to his death. Located in Bleak Fall Barrow, Thomas can be found when the player looks up at a specific point in the dungeon. To make matters worse, there is no way to get to where he’s died to acquire his note. Even further, he’s only present if the player is at least level 18 when entering Bleak Falls Barrow.
13 Giants Among Us
Until you become the legendary warrior you're destined to become, Skyrim is as unforgiving a landscape as they come. In the early levels of the game, it is punishing. Particularly as Bethesda decided to entrench Whiterun, the game's first major city, next to a giant camp.
Even at higher levels, giants are formidable foes. But at first entry, everyone assumes they can best the first giant they come across. Filled with confidence and arrogance, players are often sent careening into the stratosphere with their first giant encounter. Once they're hurtling through medieval space though, do they start having second thoughts. But, persevere long enough and with a high enough leveled character and you can best every giant you encounter. For all your efforts, you'll be rewarded with one of the best ingredients in the game; a giant's toe. Be sure to pack lots of potion.
12 You Must Be This Tall To Ride
Despite what you call them, Dwarves or the Dwemer or even the People of the Deep, the Dwemer are known throughout Skyrim for having some of the best weapons and items in the game. They even have some great pieces to sell for serious gold. One of their most unique weapons is the Dwarven Black Bow of Fate.
A unique Dwarven bow only available with the Dragonborn DLC, the Dwarven Black Bow of Fate can be found in Kagrumez, a Dwemer Ruin. With strong additional effects and beautiful to boot, this is a desirable weapon for the long ranged player. The only issue is, the bow is locked behind a door that can only be unlocked by acquiring the Kagrumez Resonance Gems first. While the player only requires four gems to unlock the room, the acquisition of the fifth gem is an added level of difficulty to the quest.
11 Keeping Up With The Stormcloaks
One of the most important quests in Skyrim is the Civil War. Though there are no Avengers to assemble here, the Civil War quests have permanent repercussions once completed. Once the Dragonborn sides with either the Stormcloaks or Imperials, irreparable changes occurring throughout Skyrim. Jarls get dethroned and allegiances are drawn. One of the Civil War quests tasks you with acquiring the Jagged Crown.
While not a difficult quest item initially, holding onto it permanently is a different matter. As a quest item, it must be given to complete the mission. Usually to the faction leader or to the opposition if the Dragonborn wants to switch sides. To acquire it permanently, the player will have to pickpocket it from the faction leader, which requires a high skill level. Failure to do so will often result in immediate death and all hell breaking loose.
10 Heart Breakers And Life Takers
Crafting the best weapons, equipment and items in Skyrim requires skill, perseverance, and a bit of luck. Players will have to scour all of Skyrim to battle high-level foes and search in every nook and cranny to find these elusive rare items. For those looking to forge one of the best armours in the game, players will need plenty of Daedra Hearts.
An ingredient that’s hard to come by, Daedra Hearts are a key component in crafting Daedric armour and weapons. There are recurring areas to find Daedra Hearts, as well, they can be found on necromancers and by completing quests to obtain Daedra artifacgts. But the best way to acquire them is by defeating Daedras, though be considerate of your level as Daedras are not easy to kill.
9 Another Notch On Your Belt
Skyrim is chock-full of hidden easter eggs. Without consulting some sort of guide, it would be impossible to find every single one.
When the Dragonborn ventures to the highest peak of Skyrim, the Throat of the World, few know of the hidden easter egg waiting for them there. After all, most are there to meet the legendary dragon Paarthurnax and to learn new shouts. But if they venture to the highest peak and look around, they’ll stumble across a pickaxe stuck to some malachite ore. This unique pickaxe, titled Notched Pickaxe, is a reference to Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson, and the fact that the pickaxe is an essential tool in Minecraft. While it is evidently clear of any sort of notches, its best suited for mining or crafting rather than as an offensive weapon. The Notched Pickaxe grants +5 towards Smithing when equipped.
8 Returning To Your Roots
While Skyrim’s expansive map gives players the freedom to explore in any matter which they choose, it also leaves room for many missed opportunities. The quest A Return To Your Roots is a prime example of this. This quest can be started by acquiring Sinderion’s Field Journal in Blackreach or picking up the eponymous root. This side quest requires the Dragonborn to acquire 30 crimson nirnroots. While it may sound easy in the beginning, players will soon realize the daunting task before them.
Crimson nirnroots only grow in Blackreach, which immediately increases the level of difficulty. If any quest required patience as a virtue it’s this, especially considering that it’s a mere side quest with no real reward. It does grant the Sinderion’s Serendipity ability, which is only useful if you value crafting.
7 3 Doors Down
Unless you play Skyrim virtuously, certain places are only accessible with a little thievery and a lot of luck. But, lockpicks are easily broken, and spending your perks on lockpicking skills seems like a foolish endeavour in the long run. Enter the Skeleton Key.
A revered artifact among thieves, the Skeleton Key is obtained as a reward from Mercer Frey after the quest Blindsighted. It remains with the Dragonborn until the completion of the quest Darkness Returns, when the Dragonborn must return the Skeleton Key to Nocturnal, the Daedric Prince of Darkness and Luck. Without the advice of guides, players may not know that they can keep the Skeleton Key indefinitely and lockpick to their heart’s content. As one of the most powerful and underestimated daedric artifacts, the Skeleton Key is an invaluable tool to any budding thief in Skyrim.
6 X Marks The Spot
Like the Note to Thomas, Treasure Maps are hidden details in the game that add significant value to your gameplay. There are 11 total Treasure Maps to be found, each depicting a drawing that leads to a treasure chest. The chests are inaccessible without the corresponding maps. The treasure maps themselves are not hard to find, the actual treasure is.
As most drawings are vague sketches of a location and only a portion of the search area, the acquisition of a Treasure Map means scouring the surrounding area with Nocturnal on your side. Or, cheat to whittle away the time spent scouring and consult with an online guide. If you don’t want to consult with an online guide, then your observant skill must be pretty proficient to not miss a clue.
5 How To Train Your Dragon
With the exception of Paarthurnax, dragons that the player encounters throughout Skyrim are hostile and a devastating force of nature. As you rise in level, so will your dragon foes, and they become increasingly stronger with the inclusion of the Dragonborn DLC. But this also provides an added bonus–ridable dragons! If you’ve ever dreamed of riding a dragon to traverse the Skyrim map, then dragon riding is for you. Using a Dragon Shout allow you to temporarily become Hiccup, complete with your own Toothless. Though a word of caution, most will turn on you or die if spotted by other NPCs.
But did you know you can ride an invincible dragon? To do so, simply return to the Throat of the World and summon your dragon. As an important NPC, he can’t be killed and he’s as friendly as they come.
4 Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider Bomb
Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. Guy goes to a dungeon a normal Dragonborn and with a bit of mechanical wizardry and a lot gems, emerges as the Spiderborn. Haven’t heard that story before? That’s probably because its a secret few know and one only accessible after acquiring the Dragonborn DLC.
Inside the depths of White Ridge Barrow on the island of Solstheim is a little known crafting area called the Spider Imbuing Chamber. Most players who encounter Merilar Rendas, the spider throwing Dark Elf, will simply kill her, gather the recipes and depart. But for the adventurous, gather a few (or a lot) of gems and experiment with the Albino Spider Pods. These two components when crafted in the Spider Imbuing Chamber with create throwable exploding spiders. Peter Parker ain’t got nothing on the Dragonborn.
3 For Those With Discerning Taste
Those who want to inject a little Hitman into their game can do so when attempting to acquire the Oghma Infinium. Arugably one of the best books in the game, the Oghma Infinium grants the players +5 on skills under Combat, Magic, and Stealth. Up until patch 1.2, there was a glitch in the game to exploit this reward an infinite number of times to level your skills.
While the acquisition of the quest Discerning The Transmundane, is easy enough, you just have to be level 15 or above to begin, completing it is another whole ball game. The quest requires the Dragonborn to obtain blood from each of the races of “Mer”; from the Orsimer and the Bosmer, to the Falmer. Each requires careful planning and locating as to not alert the authorities and bring complete havoc down on the player.
2 Heavy Is The Head That Wears The Crown
Continuing with the Thieves Guild, the Crown of Barenziah is an almost impossible quest without turning to online forums and guides to direct you to success.
The Crown of Barenziah is the quest item for No Stone Unturned. Started when the player finds the first “Unusual Gem,” No Stone Unturned requires the player to find all 24 “Unusual Gems” that are scattered throughout Skyrim’s map. To continue the quest, the player must be a full member of the Thieves Guild, though you don’t need to be a member to acquire one of the stones. The problem is, there is no indicator within the game to inform you of the location of the gems. As well, the player is required to complete certain tasks to access the locations of some of the gems. And without an online guide to assist you throughout the quest, this quest is impossible to finish.
1 Ebony And Ivory
This quest is really not a quest, but rather a duel to the death. Only accessible through the Dragonborn DLC, the “quest” introduces the player to the Ebony Warrior. He will only appear when the player reaches level 80. And when he comes a-knocking, be prepared for what is perhaps the toughest individual fight in all of Skyrim.
When the challenge is initiated, as the Ebony Warrior will approach you in any of the major cities, head of to the Last Vigil, an appropriately named campsite just above Fallowstone Cave in the Rift region. He’s encased in complete ebony armour from head to toe, so be sure to come prepared with your strongest weapons and equipment. With dragon shouts and a whole host of skills and magic at his disposal, this is a literal fight to the death. Often, yours.